Background: Two recent Italian studies suggested that Pegylated-interferon (PEG-IFN) alfa-2a achieves a higher sustained virological response (SVR) rate than PEG-IFN alfa-2b. We intended to compare the efficacy and safety of PEG-IFN alfa-2a with those of PEG-IFN alfa-2b in Korean patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV).Methods: This retrospective, multi-center trial was conducted on 661 treatment-naïve chronic HCV patients. Patients received PEG-IFN alfa-2a (180 μg/week; n=402) or PEG-IFN alfa-2b (1.5 μg/kg/week; n=259) with ribavirin (800-1200 mg/day) for 24 or 48 weeks according to HCV genotypes.Results: Early virologic response and sustained virologic response (SVR) rates were not significantly different between two PEG-IFN groups both in patients with HCV genotype 1 (all P-values>0.05) and 2/3 (all P-values>0.05). SVR rates were not different between two groups in each categorized baseline characteristics: age (years) (≤50 and >50), HCV viral load (IU/mL) (≤7×105 and >7×105), and hepatic fibrosis (F0-2 and F3-4) (all P-values >0.05). In additional analysis for 480 patients who sufficiently complied with treatment doses and duration (80/80/80 rule) and propensity-score matched analysis, SVR rates were not different between two groups both in patients with HCV genotype 1 and 2/3 (all P-values >0.05). Adverse event rates were similar between two groups.Conclusions: Unlike the Western data, efficacy and safety of PEG-IFN alfa-2a were similar to those of PEG-IFN alfa-2b in chronically HCV-infected Korean patients regardless of age, HCV viral load, and hepatic fibrosis.
- Chronic hepatitis C
- Pegylated interferon alfa-2a
- Pegylated interferon alfa-2b
- Sustained virological response
ASJC Scopus subject areas